Derek Rivers "ready to roll" for Patriots in second season

24/7 Sports

Derek Rivers is headed into his second year in the NFL. Normally, this would be an article about growth--about how Rivers, after a successful but not quite astounding rookie year, is looking to cement his place in the upper echelon of NFL pass rushers as he gears up for a sophomore effort. There's just one little hitch: Rivers missed all of his rookie year with a torn ACL. Yet to his credit, the defensive end has remained positive and says he's "ready to roll" in his de facto rookie season.

"I've done this part before, but still, it's good to be back out here. You still feel kind of new to the game for sure." The injury and aftermath were tough to endure at times for Rivers, who was expected to immediately contribute in pass-rushing situations. However, the lost year did have a few positives, as he made sure to note (MassLive):

"It definitely helped build confidence, obviously coming in here your rookie year is almost like your freshman year in college...Like I said now, it's just listening to the coaches and studying the playbook and pretty much just getting ready to roll for each practice and just trying to get better each and every day...Especially kudos to our trainers and stuff, they definitely as far as mobility and stuff like that, things where I was weak at, they definitely made a focus to obviously strengthen those things."

As he gears up for his first steps on an NFL field, Rivers is both thankful and relieved to finally get his opportunity after all the setbacks he's had to work through. It hasn't been easy--"you're itching...You want to be out there" he noted--but his cool head and remarkable composure have kept him strong throughout the process. "It's all in due time."

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